Tight Senate race, ongoing litigation, counties with differing rules set the stage for chaos in Pennsylvania

The balance of power in Washington, D.C., may not be settled when Election Day comes to an end – or the day after, or the day after that, depending on how things go in Pennsylvania.

The Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz remained a toss-up in the final Fox News Power Rankings before Election Day, and litigation over absentee ballots could draw the process out well beyond November 8.

The state's supreme court ruled that undated and incorrectly dated absentee ballots had to be set aside, uncounted, and federal litigation related to this remains ongoing. During a press conference on Monday, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman confirmed that voters worried that they already made mistakes may not be able to fix them.

"There are counties in Pennsylvania that have said that they are not allowing voters to cast their ballots," Chapman said while noting that others do allow this. Out of concern that voters ensure their votes count, she advised voters worried about errors to go to their polling site in person on Tuesday and fill out a provisional ballot.

PENNSYLVANIA GROUPS, ACLU PUSH TO HAVE MAIL-IN BALLOTS WITH ‘TRIVIAL PAPERWORK ERRORS’ COUNTED

Of course, not everyone who cast an absentee ballot will be able to go in person, which could lead to more litigation, drawing out the time before each vote is counted, and final tallies are determined.

This may or may not matter in deciding the race, depending on how close it is. Should one candidate hold a large enough lead over the other that problematic absentee ballots would not matter, the point could be moot. As of Monday, 1,120,398 mail-in ballots had been returned out of the 1,436,576 requested, according to the United States Election Project.

PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICANS VOICE CONCERNS ABOUT MIDTERM BALLOT COUNTING IN LETTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE

While the race will have significant repercussions on the Keystone State, the extent of the national impact would depend on what happens in other states. Any senator on their own can make a difference, but it remains to be seen whether Pennsylvania will determine which party holds the majority when new lawmakers take office in January.

Four races remained a toss-up in the final Power Rankings, with Republicans looking solid in 49 states and Democrats solid in 47. If Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona all break for the GOP – or just two of the three – and all of the states leaning Republican go that way, then Pennsylvania will not matter in deciding which party holds the Senate majority.

Should that not happen and Pennsylvania becomes critical, all eyes will be on them. For how long remains to be seen.


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The balance of power in Washington, D.C., may not be settled when Election Day comes to an end – or the day after, or the day after that, depending on how things go in Pennsylvania.

The Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz remained a toss-up in the final Fox News Power Rankings before Election Day, and litigation over absentee ballots could draw the process out well beyond November 8.

The state's supreme court ruled that undated and incorrectly dated absentee ballots had to be set aside, uncounted, and federal litigation related to this remains ongoing. During a press conference on Monday, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman confirmed that voters worried that they already made mistakes may not be able to fix them.

"There are counties in Pennsylvania that have said that they are not allowing voters to cast their ballots," Chapman said while noting that others do allow this. Out of concern that voters ensure their votes count, she advised voters worried about errors to go to their polling site in person on Tuesday and fill out a provisional ballot.

PENNSYLVANIA GROUPS, ACLU PUSH TO HAVE MAIL-IN BALLOTS WITH ‘TRIVIAL PAPERWORK ERRORS’ COUNTED

Of course, not everyone who cast an absentee ballot will be able to go in person, which could lead to more litigation, drawing out the time before each vote is counted, and final tallies are determined.

This may or may not matter in deciding the race, depending on how close it is. Should one candidate hold a large enough lead over the other that problematic absentee ballots would not matter, the point could be moot. As of Monday, 1,120,398 mail-in ballots had been returned out of the 1,436,576 requested, according to the United States Election Project.

PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICANS VOICE CONCERNS ABOUT MIDTERM BALLOT COUNTING IN LETTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE

While the race will have significant repercussions on the Keystone State, the extent of the national impact would depend on what happens in other states. Any senator on their own can make a difference, but it remains to be seen whether Pennsylvania will determine which party holds the majority when new lawmakers take office in January.

Four races remained a toss-up in the final Power Rankings, with Republicans looking solid in 49 states and Democrats solid in 47. If Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona all break for the GOP – or just two of the three – and all of the states leaning Republican go that way, then Pennsylvania will not matter in deciding which party holds the Senate majority.

Should that not happen and Pennsylvania becomes critical, all eyes will be on them. For how long remains to be seen.

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